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Weld Inspection Basics

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1 Weld Inspection Basics
Agricultural Mechanics & Metal Technologies C 9 D

2 Visual Examination of Welds
Visual examination is the observation of that portion of components, joints, and other elements that are or can be exposed for examination before, during or after fabrication, assembly, erection, or testing. Visual examination includes verification of Code and engineering requirements for materials, components, dimensions, joint preparation, alignment, welding, and the performance of any required heat treatment and nondestructive testing.

3 Visual Examination of Welds
Visual inspection is often the most cost-effective method, but it must take place prior to, during and after welding. Many standards require its use before other methods, because there is no point in submitting an obviously bad weld to sophisticated inspection techniques. Visual inspection requires little equipment. Aside from good eyesight and sufficient light, all it takes is a pocket rule, a weld size gauge, a magnifying glass, and possibly a straight edge and square for checking straightness, alignment and perpendicularity.

4 Visual Inspection is the best buy in non-destructive examination (NDE), but it must take place prior to, during and after welding.

5 Visual Examination of Welds
An effective program of visual inspection will result in the discovery of the vast majority of those defects which would be found later using some other more expensive non-destructive test method. Typically, 70 – 80% all weld defects are found through visual examination.

6 Visual Examination of Welds
The only way visual inspection can be considered to effectively evaluate the quality of welds is to apply it at every step of the fabrication process. This enables the problems to be discovered soon after they occur as possible so they can be corrected most efficiently.

7 Welding Inspection Checklist: Before Welding
Review applicable documentation. Check welding procedures. Check individual welder qualifications. Establish hold points (if required). Develop inspection plan (if required). Develop plan for recording inspection results and maintain those records. Develop system for identification of rejects. Check condition of welding equipment. Check quality and condition of base and filler materials to be used. Check weld preparations. Check joint fit-up. Check adequacy of alignment devices. Check weld joint cleanliness. Check preheat (when required). Check calibration (if required). Check gas and gas flow (when required).

8 Welding Inspection Checklist: During Welding
Check welding variables for compliance with welding procedure. Check quality of root pass. Check quality of individual weld passes. Check interpass cleaning. Check interpass temperature. Check placement and sequencing of individual weld passes. Check back gouged surfaces (when required). Monitor in-process NDT (if required).

9 Welding Inspection Checklist: After Welding
 Check finished weld appearance. Check weld size. Check weld length (when required). Check dimensional accuracy of weldments. Monitor in-process NDT (if required). Monitor postweld heat treatment (if required). Prepare inspection reports (if required).

10 Typical Welding Defects: Porosity
Porosity in the weld is generally due to ingress of gases (H2 and N2, normally) into the weld pool.

11 Examples of Porosity

12 Typical Welding Defects: Lack of Fusion
Lack of fusion or incomplete fusion is characterized by areas where the arc fails to melt the parent metal before the weld metal contacts it and the molten metal rests against the base material without fusing to it.

13 Example of lack of fusion

14 Typical Welding Defects: Solidification Cracks
During cooling, segregation of lower melting point materials can occur that may open up if the weld is exposed to tensile stress during solidification. Also know as hot cracking; known to be promoted in steels by phosphorous and sulfur which tend to form low melting point phases. (a problem with thick sections of 347 SS).

15 Example of solidification cracking

16 Typical welding defects: Cold cracking
Cold cracking is produced with a combination of a hard microstructure (usually martensite in the HAZ) and hydrogen dissolved in the metal. Occurs when weld is cold up to hrs. after welding; also known as delayed hydrogen cracking.

17 Example of cold cracking

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